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Our Founder

A passionate scientist and committed environmentalist, Don Comb (1927-2020) leaves a legacy spanning scientific research in molecular biology and conservation of the planet’s marine and terrestrial biodiversity.


In 1974, Don established New England Biolabs, Inc. (NEB) as a cooperative of scientists dedicated to providing research tools for molecular biologists. Don’s scientific vision shaped NEB as the leader in the discovery and production of recombinant enzymes for molecular biology applications. Prior to NEB, Don held a position at Harvard Medical School. He attended the University of Michigan where he earned a PhD in biochemistry.


In 1982, Don’s deep love of the natural world and fascination with the arts and diverse cultures led him to create the New England Biolabs Foundation. His commitment to the environment led him to actively engage with a wide range of environmental and marine conservation organizations, both locally and internationally, including helping to establish the Ocean Genome Legacy Fund.


Don’s enduring belief in the value of investing in small and grassroots organizations working to protect their landscapes, livelihoods, and biodiversity shaped the foundation early on and remains our touchstone to this day.

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